Joc Cocker

(updated February, 2021)

I just felt like a little Joe Cocker music.  Cocker is one of my favorite 60s music artists.  I want to share the experience and my love for his music with you.

Let his gutsy, gravelly, vocal style carry you for a while.

Joe Cocker with a Little Help from His Friends

Just like Joe Cocker, we have all made it this far with a little help from our friends, even if we sing a bit out of tune.  Not being a singer myself, but a lover of music.  I often sang along to What Would You Do if I Sang Out of Tune.

Cruising down Pacific Coast Highway, what a trip down Memory Lane for me.  This video brings up the Santa Monica pier with the ocean wind blowing in my face and Feelin’ Alright. But, life is just not memories of the past, “there’s too much to do before I die.”

Summer in the City was not originally Cocker’s song.  He sings his cover of the song with his special arrangement.  It reminds me of those hot and sweaty but oh so exhilarating breaks from school in June and July in California. Summer In the City was the song, but I remember getting out the city during the summer heat and body surfing in Huntington Beach or running on the roads of Covina.

I love Joe Cocker’s whole-body gyrations movements.  Whether it is simulating playing guitar or vigorously shaking his arms at his side, he is so into his music.

He is no less animated when playing the piano or blowing the harmonica.

Dispite singing “What Would You Do if I Sang Out of Tune”, Cocker’s unique voice always fit the message of the song he was singing.

Joe Cocker “Fashion”

His fashion is so much different from most of the 60s music artists.  Bob Dylan had his sports coats and scarves.  Jimi Hendrix’s fashion was an extension of his flare on stage. He dawned long, frilly vests and flowery pants.

Joe Cocker did, at times, dress up in a suit for his performances.  The fashion I remember most is seeing him in a t-shirt with sweat rolling down his forehead and face.  He sports an ungroomed beard and long, uncombed hair most of the time.

You Are So Beautiful – TO ME.  Is there a better love ballad than this?

Joe Cocker in The USA – Mad Dogs and Englishmen

Joe Cocker started his career in Britain, his home.  He put together his first American tour in a rush.  Even with all the hast, I doubt he could have assembled a better band than what became known as Mad Dogs and Englishmen.

The band was composed of 20 people including instrumentalists and backup vocalists.  He was fortunate enough to bring on board Leon Russell to be on the keyboard and lead the band.

Mad Dogs and Englishmen toured more than forty-eight cities in 1969 and early 1970.  The tour was a great boost to the Englishman’s career.

The long tour heightened Cocker’s fame and enriched his bank account.  It also played havoc with his life.  Both Cocker and Russell had disruptive, personal problems.  Cocker became depressed and began drinking excessively as the tour wound down in May 1970. 

Penetrating the U.S. Music Charts

During the tour he enjoyed several United States chart entries with cover versions of “Feelin’ Alright” (originally done by Traffic) and “Cry Me a River.”

He covered the Box Tops‘ hit “The Letter“.  The tune appeared on the live album and film, Mad Dogs & Englishmen. “The Letter” was his first song to break into the U.S. Top Ten.

I must have been in Africa when Noubliez Jamais (Never Foret) started playing over the airways.  I don’t remember ever hearing it. But, I really got caught up in it when I heard it recently.

Papa, Why Do You Play All The Same Old Songs….Every Generation has its way…So Dance Your Own Dance, And Never Forget Noubliez Jamais (Never Forget).

I reminisce a lot maybe too much. This song puts life’s journey in a right perspective.
Some hang on to used to be
Live there life looking behind ….
Love lift us up where we belong
Where the eagles fly on a mountan high

I hope you have enjoyed this walk through Joe Cocker’s music.  There are many more of his tunes to stir your soul and enrich your life.

See more of our 60s Music articles here.

What Would You Do if I Sang Out of Tune?  Joe, I would listen everytime.


By Chowning

Richard Chowning was a teenager during the 60s. Being a Southern California resident during those years, he experienced many of the events and trends that distinguished those times.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *